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How are Glasses Supposed to Fit?

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A young woman wearing large, black-rimmed glasses and a black and white striped shirt against a yellow backdrop

Having a pair of glasses that fit your face is essential to your overall well-being. When glasses don’t fit correctly, they can become more of a nuisance than they help. Improperly fitted glasses can lead to headaches, eye strain, and other irritating symptoms.

Your glasses should sit on your face comfortably, without sliding down your nose or pinching the bridge of your nose. When you receive glasses from an eye care professional, they should adjust your glasses frames to fit your face.

At Maple Ridge Eye Care, we have a large variety of glasses to choose from! Our experienced team of eye care professionals can help you find the perfect pair of glasses, and we will ensure that they are properly fitted.

Making Sense of the Measurements on Frames

Knowing which measurements you need is trial and error, which isn’t so bad if you can try the frames on. Another option is to have your optometrist take the measurements while seeing them for an exam.

Here are the three primary measurements you’ll find on most frames:

  • Lens: This is the total width of the lens at its widest point.
  • Bridge: The piece of the frame that goes over your nose is the bridge measurement. 
  • Temple: Each arm’s length from the hinge back is the temple measurement

How Should Glasses Fit Your Face?

There are several things to consider when getting glasses that fit you properly:

  • Pupillary Distance (PD): This is the distance between each pupil when looking straight. Your optometrist can measure this for you, and it’s crucial that your PD lines up at the optical center of your lenses for proper fitment.
  • Comfort: Your glasses should rest on your ears and nose comfortably. If any spots rub or feel pinched, this is a red flag that something doesn’t fit right. As your face moves, your glasses should sit level and not rest on your cheeks; when smiling, for example.
  • Tightness: Even though you don’t want your glasses to be uncomfortably tight, they need to be snug enough on your face to not fall off. You should be able to gently shake and tilt your head without your glasses moving out of place.
A female optician helping a female patient pick out frames that will fit her face

Signs That Your Glasses Don’t Fit Properly

Sometimes it can be hard to know at a glance when glasses don’t fit properly, especially without advice. For example, you may not notice a certain pinching or rubbing right away, but there are plenty of warning signs that the frames aren’t working:

  • The frame slides down your face easily, which could mean they’re too narrow.
  • They look or feel crooked. In many cases, an optometrist or optician can tweak the frames slightly to fit your face correctly. It’s actually quite common to have a slight height difference between ears.
  • Discomfort from pinching on the bridge of your nose or behind your ears. 
  • Red marks on your nose could indicate that you need frames with a wider bridge.

Risks of Glasses that Don’t Fit Your Face

Although they aren’t always apparent right away, there are a few things that could cause you trouble down the road with glasses that don’t fit properly:

  • Eye strain: This could be more pronounced if you’re already prone to digital eye strain.
  • Trouble focusing: You may also experience issues with your peripheral vision.
  • Discomfort: This can range from dealing with constant headaches to feeling dizzy. It may even be from something as simple as your eyelashes touching your lenses or the frames touching your cheeks.

Choosing the Right Lenses

In addition to picking frames that fit your face, you also need to consider the lenses in them. When discussing your vision needs with an eye doctor or optician, they will likely ask you several questions regarding your typical daily activities.

Here are some of the lenses or coatings they may recommend:

  • Single vision: These are common lenses with the same prescription throughout the entire lens. 
  • Progressive: Unlike single vision, a progressive lens will correct multiple vision issues. The prescription changes gradually from top to bottom, and there is typically no visible separation.
  • Anti-glare: Glare from the road, water, or any other surface can be extremely bothersome and even dangerous. An anti-glare coating helps reduce how much glare makes it through your lens.
  • Blue light filtering: Blue light has been linked to poor sleep. Unfortunately, it’s everywhere nowadays. So, in many cases, a blue light filter is an excellent coating for your lenses.
  • UV protection: Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is not good for our eyes. This is another coating that’s usually a good idea for your glasses unless you always wear sunglasses when in the sun.

Getting Glasses That Fit Properly

If you’re unsure about choosing frames, stop by Maple Ridge Eye Care. Our team of licensed opticians and frame consultants are happy to work with you and help you choose frames and lenses that are perfect for your face and vision needs.

Written by Dr. M. Hurlbert

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